We’re back to the bad old days. With Covid cases continuing to reach record levels in Korea, the rest of the country has joined the Capital region in ordering doors closed on all betting locations. So, while fans of track cycling can bet and watch from the safety and comfort of their living rooms this weekend, racing, which supports 26,000 jobs across the horse industry and which plows billions of won into the rural economy every year, is forced once more to accrue more losses by racing for prize money only as its fans have no legal avenue to place a bet. Nevertheless, with the Jeju pony racing taking a week off for its summer break, there is a bumper 12-race card at Busan on Friday for overseas simulcasting. Here are the previews of a competitive day’s action:
Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
A competitive maiden to kick things off. (2) TWO TWO LIME ran 8th behind a couple of these on debut over 1000M on June 19th before stepping up to today’s distance on her reappearance on July 18th. That day she sat midfield and then ran on strong to finish 2nd, albeit well beaten by a good winner. She draws better today and with some natural improvement can win this. (1) ADELE SUCCESS returns for the first time since finishing 3rd in that June 19th race over 1000MThat was her best finish in five starts so far but marked a continuation in progress in terms of performance. She too draws much better today and could well get a soft lead. She is a “full” sister to Success Story and surely has a win in her at some stage. (4) K CHUKJE has the fastest time of any of these at the distance recorded when 2nd two starts back on a wet track. He followed up with a 5th place a month ago and has placing claims again. (5) HAMAN YEOHANGSAN will be expected to improve on his debut 7th in June. He ran on strong late on and should be better for the experience. (10) SPRING FIRE another capable of placing although may need some luck from a wide draw.
|Selections||(2) Two Two Lime (1) Adele Success (4) K Chukje (5) Haman Yeohangsan|
|Next Best||10, 11|
|Fast Start||1, 3, 5, 8|
Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
Another maiden and they’re all fillies except for one rogue gelding. We’ll side with (6) A ONE PLUS, who needs to be forgiven a dismal showing at her latest start over 1400M on July 18th when she began quickly from gate ten but quickly capitulated to the extant that she was sent back to trial. She looked well when re-qualifying two weeks ago and if we go on her latest two outings at this distance, both in June when she picked up a pair of runner-up finishes in good times, then she is surely in this. (3) HAPPY WOMAN has been consistent across her four outings so far, never finishing any worse than 5th. From a good draw here, she can sit just behind the early pace and run on strong, and the jockey engagement will certainly encourage plenty. That’s true too with (10) WORLD FLOWER who comes in off encouraging runs over 1200M and 1300M in her latest two and can figure again while (7) HOLLYWOOD QUEEN was a much-improved 4th last start coming from off the pace to finish in a fast time at this distance. A repeat is possible here. (2) WONDERFUL LADY among a number of others with minor money hopes in a weak race.
|Selections||(6) A One Plus (3) Happy Woman (10) World Flower (7) Hollywood Queen|
|Next Best||2, 8|
|Fast Start||1, 6, 9, 11|
Busan Race 3: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
Another maiden and the vast majority enter with distinctly ordinary form. That makes (4) STEADY WINNER the top pick as, barring her effort two starts back when she was drawn in the car park over 1300M, she has managed to consistently put in creditable efforts. She has the fastest time of these at this distance and comes in off a decent enough 3rd over 1200M last time out. From a nice draw, Perovic can pick his spot and she should be too strong at the business end of the race. (7) SEONGSIL SONYEO has been getting a bit too far back in her races, but she generally runs on well enough. She is the only runner here with a 2nd place on her resume and the step up in trip may benefit. (3) QUEEN HARLEY came from well back to run 6th over 1300M at her latest start. She has had a couple of months off since and can go well first up here. (11) HAVANA JANE has hinted at figuring things out this preparation. She tackles the distance for the first time, and it could well suit. (1) MACH UNI possibly the best of a very limited rest.
|Selections||(4) Steady Winner (7) Seongsil Sonyeo (3) Queen Harley (11) Havana Jane|
|Next Best||1, 5|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 7, 11|
Busan Race 4: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
A maiden of many chances over the mile. (4) TRIPLE STORM is the tentative top pick having shown good consistency in recent starts over 1400M with a 2nd and a 3rd among his efforts so far this year and with some solid times posted along the way. He tends to go right back and run on, and he tackles a mile for the first time. (2) YEONSEUNG BRAVO has the fastest time among those who have tried this distance before. He comes back up in trip after a good 4th over 1300M three weeks ago when he ran on well and he gives jockey Shin Yun-seob a good opportunity on his first day race riding in Korea. (11) MAJOR FORCE has a couple of 4th place finishes to his name at this distance and comes back up in trip following two creditable 5th places over 1400M. He is tactically versatile so the wide draw shouldn’t be too problematic, and he should enter the calculations. (9) ECHO LADY finished behind Major Force last start but previously ran 2nd with a front-running performance in a fast time over 1400M. She will probably be on pace here and can go close. (10) STORM BROWN one of several others with at least minor money hopes in what is a nice competitive affair.
|Selections||(4) Triple Storm (2) Yeonseung Bravo (11) Major Force (9) Echo Lady|
|Next Best||10, 8|
|Fast Start||2, 8, 9, 11|
Busan Race 5: Class 5 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 33 Million
Super race for the level. (8) MISS INDIE comes up in class after winning her first two starts, the second of which was an all the way six-length score over 1400M on July 11th. She comes up in trip as well, but her half-brother Mr. Afleet followed a similar trajectory and recently won a class 1 at 1800M so she should be able to cope with it. This is a tough race, but she can maintain her 100% record. (1) K K WON is yet to win after eleven attempts but enters in good form with two runner- up finishes from his latest three outings, both of which were at today’s distance. From the inside gate, he can sit handy and run on strong and he should be in the finish again. (3) YEONGDO GALMAEGI came home in 4th place behind K K Won on what was his first try at this class and distance on July 23. He led for much of that race and could well have come on for the experience. (7) WHITE GALLOPER and (11) DOCTOR TAKE both come up in class following last start wins over 1400M. The running style of both can suit the extended distance today and both can measure up in this company.
|Selections||(8) Miss Indie (1) K K Won (3) Yeongdo Galmaegi (7) White Galloper|
|Next Best||11, 4|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 3, 8|
Busan Race 6: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 33 Million
Another good race for this level with many chances. (1) LUCKY BREAK was an all the winner by no fewer than ten-lengths on July 18th. She does come up in class, but she registered the fastest time among any of these at the distance for good measure and it was on a dry track. She draws nicely today and must be given every chance. Lucky Break has tended to be an all or nothing performer though with two wins her only top-three finishes from eight starts so far. If you prefer proven consistency, then (4) BURNING PARTY may be the way to go. Her latest outings, all at this distance have been very solid with a class 6 win among them. She has a 2nd and a 4th at this level to her name already and from a nice draw should be challenging for the lead right from the start. (12) ECOPIA doesn’t get the best of luck with the draw but there is no doubting her speed as shown when she posted a minute-flat for the 1000M in June. She was a class and distance 3rd in a good time at her latest outing and if Franco Da Silva can find a good spot for her, then she should be in this. (3) WONDERFUL JAZZ ran on strong for a close at hand 4th at class and distance last start and can be in the mix again. (5) B. K. KING STAR was a winner at this distance two starts back and ran well for 2nd on his first try at this class a month ago.
|Selections||(1) Lucky Break (4) Burning Party (12) Ecopia (3) Wonderful Jazz|
|Next Best||5, 9|
|Fast Start||2, 4, 11, 12|
Busan Race 7: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 33 Million
(6) QUEEN OF HEARTS took a few goes to figure things out and left herself far too much to do in her first couple of outings. She had been gradually getting better though and that culminated in a very nice win at this distance on August 1st when she settled handy and then midfield, striking the front in the straight and going on to win by more than two-lengths. She does come up in class today, but the manner of that victory suggests she should measure up and a second win in quick succession is possible. Also up in class is (9) BUSANHANG GALMAEGI. After an inauspicious debut, he made all to win both his subsequent starts, the latter at this distance. He does give weight away to Queen Of Hearts and the draw is not the best but if he gets to the lead, he may be difficult to beat. Among those with experience of the level, (2) APRIL QUEEN, who comes in off a good 4th over 1200M at this class on June 26th. She draws well to challenge for the early lead here. (4) JEONSEOLUI PUNCH remains a maiden and mixes his form but has run decent times and has plenty of experience at this level. (1) MUSIC BOX comes up in class after three near-misses and with a light weight and a nice draw can be in the finish.
|Selections||(6) Queen Of Hearts (9) Busanhang Galmaegi (2) April Queen (4) Jeonseolui Punch|
|Next Best||1, 3|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 3, 9|
Busan Race 8: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 33 Million
Another competitive affair. (8) CATCH THE VICTORY got his sole win so far at this distance at class 6 level but comes in off a good 3rd place at this class on June 20th. He has the fastest time of any of these at 1200M and has every chance here. Expect him to settle handy and to run on. (1) HALLA NURI consistently runs good times at this distance and has plenty of experience at this level. She gets her best draw today for some time and it would be no surprise if she was in the finish here. (2) AMAZING FOOT comes up in class after a gate to wire score at this distance at class 6 level on July 4th. She too draws very well to get back on the early speed and she can measure up at this class. So too can (6) CAPTAIN GIRL, who returned from six months out significantly improved and won first-up over this distance on July 9th. She comes up in class but is under a nice light weight and will be in the frame. So too will (5) DOCTOR FAITH. Yet to win in six attempts, he’s never been worse than 3rd. He runs consistent times and it’s not impossible that he could make his breakthrough here.
|Selections||(8) Catch The Victory (1) Halla Nuri (2) Amazing Foot (6) Captain Girl|
|Next Best||5, 7|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 3, 10|
Busan Race 9: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 45 Million
(5) SKY MORE has won his latest two to be rapidly promoted from class 6 up to class 4. While ostensibly it looks like a big step up, he looks very nicely entered here against a set of mainly modest imports (who have to begin their careers in class 4). His statistics and his form measure up well and he even comes down in the weights for good measure. Accordingly, he can complete a hat-trick of wins here. (8) QUEEN MARVEL IJI beat three of these on her way to 3rd place at class and distance on July 25th when she was handy throughout. Yet to win, she has six top-three finishes and can add another one here. (1) SKITTER similarly beat three of today’s rivals when posting a much-improved 2nd place finish at class and distance on July 9th when ridden handy. She has a nice draw today and can be a danger. (12) DOCTOR GREY is first-up here after over four months out. He had shown good form prior to the layoff and while he will probably need this, he looked sharp in a barrier trial two weeks ago and can come straight into contention. (4) POWER GATE is another locally bred entrant who has a win at this distance to her name. She was well back in that July 25th race but may be worth another chance here.
|Selections||(5) Sky More (8) Queen Marvel Iji (1) Skitter (12) Doctor Grey|
|Next Best||4, 11|
|Fast Start||1, 4, 6, 8|
Busan Race 10: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 45 Million
(6) HAENAM HAMMER is an up-and-coming filly who won twice at class 6 level at 1200M and 1600M before recording back-to-back 2nd place finishes at class 5 over today’s distance, both good times. She does take another step up in class today, but she draws nicely enough to get on pace, and she may well measure up. She has a full 5.5kg weight advantage over (2) ECHO SUN, who is top rated in the race by some margin. He comes in following a strong 2nd place carrying almost as much as he does today, in which he recorded the fastest time any of these have achieved at the distance. He draws nicely to sit behind the early speed, and he has a good finish. Haenam Hammer will need to improve to beat him. And to beat (11) COOL GUY. He secured back-to-back wins over 1200M in May to rapidly be promoted to this level but showed he can compete at it with a good 2nd place at this class and distance on July 9th when only very narrowly beaten. The draw is not in his favour this time, but he should be in the finish again. (10) FINE TRUMPET has loads of experience at this level and is usually there or thereabouts. His flexible racing style renders the wide draw irrelevant. (3) JANGHAN JILJU is perhaps the best of the rest.
|Selections||(6) Haenam Hammer (2) Echo Sun (11) Cool Guy (10) Fine Trumpet|
|Next Best||3, 4|
|Fast Start||4, 6, 9, 11|
Busan Race 11: Class 4 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 45 Million
(12) GALAXY ROAD is a winner of four of his latest five including a very good score over a mile at this class on his latest appearance on July 18th. That earned him a significant rating hike which bumps him up to top weight here and he also steps up to two turns for the first time. That, along with the widest draw, which is never easy over 1800M at Busan due to the short run to the first turn, means there are question marks. However, he looks to have a bit of quality about him, and he can overcome these obstacles. (2) JEONGSU SIDAE enters in very solid form having run 2nd and 3rd in his latest two both at class and distance, both in good times and both beating rivals who go here. He draws very nicely and will be a big danger. (11) TOP MATE finally got into the winner’s circle last start after no fewer than six runner-up finishes. It came at this class and distance on July 23rd and while he too comes up in the weights, he can go close once more. (1) TWO TWO LEADS ran a good 2nd behind Top Mate has start at class and distance and should be in the placing frame once more. Under a very light weight, (6) FINAL FRONT is another in the hunt.
|Selections||(12) Galaxy Road (2) Jeongsu Sidae (11) Top Mate (1) Two Two Leads|
|Next Best||6, 3|
|Fast Start||2, 3, 7, 8|
Busan Race 12: Class 3 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million
A wide-open finale with loads of chances. (9) KING OF THE MATCH has won both his starts so far, albeit it at class 4 and at 1200M. He has done it in contrasting ways too but has start settled handy before running on to win very easily. He carries a light weight here and we’ll take a chance on him to keep his winning record going. (2) TOP FIRE is super consistent at this distance and was 3rd in a fast time behind an upset winner (Sakisaki, who goes here too) on July 16th. He draws nicely to be on pace and he has every chance of returning to the winner’s circle. The draw is less favourable to (12) SEONGSAN POWER, who drops back in trip from 1800M but comes in here in excellent form with a win and then a 2nd place finish from his latest two. At the latter start at this class he beat plenty of today’s rivals and shouldn’t be ruled out here. (11) B. K. JOHN is up in class but significantly down in weight. He ran a good 2nd at this distance last start and should be competitive here. (6) MY TIZ GEM among many others with placing hopes.
|Selections||(9) King Of The Match (2) Top Fire (12) Seongsan Power (11) B. K. John|
|Next Best||6, 5|
|Fast Start||2, 5, 8, 12|